Access to dental care for kids in Minnesota is at “crisis” levels according to the head of the state Dental Association. Carmelo Cinqueonce says children enrolled in Medicaid are receiving dental services at an unacceptably low rate.
Cinqueonce warns the low access rates for low-income children could result in the state losing federal funding. He says, as a state, “we’re just not stepping up to the plate and providing the adequate funding and resources necessary.”
In Federal Fiscal Year 2015, only 41% of all Minnesota Medicaid-enrolled children received any dental service, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)–well below the national average of 50%. In the same year, only 37% of Minnesota Medicaid-enrolled children received a preventive dental service, compared to a national average of 46%. The CMS has given the state 90 days to submit a plan for improving dental care access in the next year to be eligible for funding moving forward. Cinqueonce is urging lawmakers and Governor Dayton to take steps now to significantly increase Minnesota’s access rates.